Best Suv For Travel

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The Best Suv For Travel 2016

Best Suv For Travel – The 2016 Mazda CX-5 is the best SUV for you if wonder what a Miata might feel like with seats for five, 65 cubic feet of cargo volume-and eight and a half inches of ground clearance. This is the compact crossover from the people who bring us that delightful little sports car. And they’ve tweaked it for ’16 to make it handle even better. They’ve also updated this front end, added safety features, and improved the interior. The question remains, though: would it be better with a little less Miata and a little more muscle?. Compact-crossover sales are dominated by the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape, Toyota RAV4, and Nissan Rogue, with the Jeep Cherokee making noise, too. Nothing in the class is quite as engaging to drive as the Mazda – heck, you can get one with manual transmission – but that doesn’t seem to carry much weight with the masses.

Best Suv For Travel

And too few shoppers seem swayed by one of the best looking bodies in the class, either. For 2016, the lineup repeats Sport, Touring, and Grand Touring models and every one gets a new grille with more character thanks to addition of thin horizontal bars. The headlights look more sinister, and Touring and Grand Touring versions are available with LED illumination front and rear. Inside, the changes are less subtle — and more effective. The center console is repurposed from a simple venue for cupholders and a gearshift to a more sophisticated command center. The highlight is addition of Mazda’s well designed integrated controller for audio, vehicle and navigation functions. Optional on automatic-transmission Sport models and standard on Touring and Grand Touring, it’s accompanied by a new seven-inch screen — twenty-percent larger than the old display. Also new with automatic transmission is a Sport button intended to sharpen throttle response.

And on every model, the parking brake is now activated by this elegant flipper rather than an old-fashioned lever. The revamp frees up more storage space and gives this armrest a fresh new shape. The driving position, the no-nonsense gauges – it all contributes to a sporty crossover experience. So do the front seats. They’re reshaped for more support. Room is good and leather remains an exclusive standard feature for the Grand Touring model. This Parchment color is a welcome new alternative to black. And added sound insulation makes this a quieter cabin. Back here, longer cushions improve seating comfort. Headroom is generous, and legroom is among best in class. So is cargo volume, both behind the rear bench and with it folded.Best Suv For Travel

Levers let you drop the seatbacks in three sections. Engines are unchanged. The Sport comes with a 155-horsepower two-liter four-cylinder, a six-speed manual transmission, and front-wheel drive. Order the six-speed automatic or all-wheel drive and you get the four-cylinder every other CX-5 has — a two-point-five-liter with 184 horsepower. Mazda stays loyal to a sure-shifting automatic in a class where lazier continuously variable transmissions are proliferating. And there’s no arguing with fuel economy — ratings are among the best in the competitive set. But many rivals are turning to turbocharging to get more punch from their four-cylinders. Neither CX-5 engine is a benchmark for performance, but the will not leave you wanting in traffic or merging onto a freeway. Pure muscle, after all, isn’t this crossover’s forte. That would be its road manners. The sense of precise steering and sharp reflexes that define the Miata – OK, the MX-5 – are present in this wholly different sort of vehicle. The CX-5 slices through turns and stays unflappable at speed. Revisions add sinew to the suspension, improving a ride that’s taut but never uncomfortable.

This is the rare crossover that feels both nailed to the pavement and light on its feet. Those dynamic qualities are supported by some useful driver assists. Optional on Touring and Grand Touring is the fifteen-hundred-dollar Technology Package that adds the LED lighting – with steering-linked headlamps – plus Mazda’s Smart City Brake Support, which can automatically stop the CX-5 cold to avoid low-speed frontal collisions. New for 2016 is the automaker’s i-Activsense package. It’s another fifteen-hundred-dollar option available only on the Grand Touring and only in conjunction with the Technology package. So you’re looking at three grand to upgrade to radar cruise control, lane-departure warning, and another automatic braking system, this one designed to slow but not stop you from highway speeds. We’d like to see that full suite of safety aids spread to the other models, but Mazda must keep pricing in check. The small, independent automaker’s strategy is to resist customer incentives that could boost sales but erode profit and brand image. That pressures it to squeeze CX-5 prices where it can.

The entry-level Sport is actually among the least expensive in the competitive set. The more mainstream models are within a few hundred dollars of comparable rivals. And they’re a formidable match for any of them, even if they’re not miles ahead on pure muscle. So it isn’t as outright fast as a turbocharged Escape or Subaru Forester or a V-6 Cherokee. So what. None of them has anything like the soul of a Miata. We think that’s more than a fair tradeoff. Best Suv For Travel

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